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We help organizations realize the full potential of ERGs

We help organizations realize the full potential of ERGs

ERGs – Employee Resource Groups – are voluntary, employee-led networks that bring together people who share an interest in a specific dimension of diversity.

ERGs – Employee Resource Groups – are voluntary, employee-led networks that bring together people who share an interest in a specific dimension of diversity.

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WHAT WE DO

We support ERGs to be more:

Effective

We create learning opportunities and share knowledge. Check out:

Connected

We bring people together to learn from one another and collaborate. Check out:

Visible

We showcase promising practices and the amazing work ERG leaders do. Check out:

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HOW WE DO THAT

We create learning opportunities

“THE WHY – MAKING THE CASE FOR AN ERG”

ERG TOOL

In ERGs Center we want to give you the best practices to develop ERG in your organization. ERG Tools are made to make it easier for you.

Why Employee Resource Group (ERG)? Why this specific network? What benefit will it bring? In short – why should we do it?

Use this first tool “The why – making the case for an ERG” to explore many ways in which you can answer this question and create a compelling case that will work for your ERG.

Download it here

D&I Changemakers Conference 2022 – join us!

DECEMBER 1ST – 2ND

A conference organised by the Diversity Hub is coming up on 1-2 December!

This is an important global online business event not to be missed by organisational managers, those involved in HR or D&I areas, team leaders and anyone interested in #diversity, #equity & #inclusion.

DEI 2023 trends, inclusive language, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), LGBTQ+, inclusive recruitment, disability, gender equality, legal aspects of D&I, accessible events… these are just a few of the topics we will discuss this year.

Be a true Changemaker. Bring changes to your organisation already today.

HSBC is the Golden Partner of this year event. Other partners are ABB, Akamai, Capgemini, Cisco, Franklin Templeton, IG, Luxoft, Nokia, TikTok, State Street, UBS, Volvo.

Join us!

Register for free

Employee networks as the example of practical DEI activities

ARTICLE

What is the role of Employee Resource Groups and what advantages for employees they have?

Read the article “Sieci pracownicze jako forma praktycznych działań w zakresie DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)” by Monika Lis (ERGs Center by Diversity Hub Coordinator), Elżbieta Sieniawska (CSR Country Lead, Capgemini Polska) and Krzysztof Franciszkiewicz (Senior Team Lead, Cloud Infrastructure Services, Capgemini Polska).

Read (in Polish)

Check all learning opportunities

Check our calendar of events
HOW WE DO THAT

We share knowledge

Browse our resources to find advice and tools that help you be more effective.

NEW FREE GUIDE

ERG Playbook by ERGs Center

Are you a new ERG leader at the beginning of your journey? Or are you planning to set up an employee network?

This playbook will guide you through everything you need to know to set up your group for success.

Download it now!
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about ERG in a nutshell

What is an ERG?2021-12-08T22:09:24+01:00

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that bring together employees who share an interest in a specific dimension of diversity. The most popular networks support women, LGBTQ+ employees, racialized employees, or specific ethnic communities. Other examples include networks based on age, ability status, parental status, religion, or thinking style.

ERGs are also known as affinity groups, employee networks, business resource groups, or people networks. These different names highlight their evolution and how ERGs serve both their members and organization.

Not all groups that bring employees together are considered ERGs. The key issue is whether the group has been historically disadvantaged and faces additional barriers in the workplace and life.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

Why do we need ERGs?2021-12-08T22:04:50+01:00

ERGs serve as a resource for their members, foster diversity and inclusion, and drive business results for the organization. Each network can have different objectives, play various roles, and bring different benefits depending on the organizational and societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

The key benefits for the members include shared community, an opportunity to make the workplace more inclusive, leadership development and skill-building, career advancement, and visibility. The key benefits for the organization include increased employee engagement, support in advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) goals, talent pipeline, client intelligence, business innovation, and connections to the community.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How does an ERG fit into organizational DEI work?2021-12-08T22:06:17+01:00

If set up correctly, ERGs are an important part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work in the organization. That includes internal work related to the people employed but also external work related to the clients and communities in which the company operates.

ERGs can help improve representation at different levels of the organization, organize mentoring and leadership development programs, or initiate policy change that benefits all employees. With regards to external work, employee networks can be leveraged in service and product development and building corporate social responsibility.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How big are ERGs?2021-12-08T22:07:30+01:00

ERGs can be large global entities with several thousand members and a sizable budget or a local initiative with only several members. They can have a complex governance structure including a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Coordinators, different committees, Advisory Board, and Executive sponsors or they can have a leadership team, members, and an executive sponsor. It all depends on the size of the organization, how it operates, the societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

How are ERGs created?2021-12-08T22:08:43+01:00

Many employee resource groups are formed because people from marginalized groups ask their employers for setting up a network that would support their needs on a local level (bottom-up). The “think globally, act locally” approach works best when there are employees who care about diversity and inclusion and are supported by their leaders and senior managers.

In many organizations there is diversity and inclusion strategy and an overal strategy for ERGs which includes the business case and guidelines (top-down). The organization can either start ERGs or invites groups of employees to apply for ERG status.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What motivates leaders to start ERGs?2021-12-08T22:09:44+01:00

ERGs are started because they can serve as a resource for its members, foster diversity and inclusion in the company, and drive business results for the organization. Each network (e.g. Generations, Pride, Veterans) can have different objectives, play various roles, and bring different benefits depending on the organizational and societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What data and information is needed to start ERG?2021-12-08T22:10:40+01:00

You need to know which diverse groups are represented and underrepresented in your organization. Also, with the help of the human resources department you can identify if a company has trouble recruiting and promoting women, LGBT+ individuals, People of Colour, working parents.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What budget do you need to start?2021-12-08T22:11:35+01:00

Financial support is essential for keeping the ERG running. Your executive sponsor will champion your efforts to gain funding, but you and your group need to be fundraising sometimes as well. You will likely be allocated a budget by your organization, but you will need to make the officers responsible for allocating funds aware of why the funds are necessary and what projects and activities they will support.

It is also possible to operate without a formal budget but you will need to rely on the time, experience, creativity, and competencies of your members and employees in your company.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

Who is an executive sponsor?2021-12-08T22:12:57+01:00

An executive sponsor is a senior-level executive appointed to support and champion ERG. They provide strategic advice so an ERG can align their goals with the organizational goals, and they build support for the activities of the network.

An executive sponsor is a key channel for communicating ERG’s mission, goals, and progress to other senior leaders. They can be a catalyst for the growth of your network and a connection to sustained funding, business relevance, and impact.

An executive sponsor can be assigned by management or chosen by the ERG members. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring alignment of goals and direction with an overall business strategy
  • Serving as a public advocate and the enabler for the ERG
  • Influencing other company leaders to support the goals of the group
  • Building connections between ERG and key organizational stakeholders
  • Helping ERG obtain the budget and other resources
What are the main challenges related to leading ERG?2021-12-08T22:14:12+01:00

The role of ERG leader brings challenges like any other role in the business or personal life. The main challenges include:

  • The low number of people who want to join an ERG to actively participate and make things happen
  • Members engagement and an ability to successfully motivate members
  • The workload of ERG members in their business role if a percentage of their job is not allocated to their work in the ERG
  • ERG leader’s burnout if their role is not properly supported, compensated, and recognized

Some of those challenges are in the area of the influence of an ERG Leader. Others, for example, the workload of ERG members or the lack of support and recognition from the organization, are mostly not and need to be addressed on the organizational level.

What kind of relationship do you have to build and maintain as an ERG leader?2021-12-08T22:16:45+01:00

Effective ERG, as part of the organization in which it operates, needs goals, plans, structures, communication channels, and KPIs that are monitored. Above all, it needs relationships with key organizational stakeholders. The ability to build and maintain good relationships is one of the most important competence of an effective ERG leader. They need to build and manage relationships with:

  • ERG members
  • Senior management
  • Middle management
  • HR department
  • D&I team
  • Executive sponsor(s)
  • other ERGs in your organization

These relationships are of different kinds and can be formal or informal. For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How can an ERG support your career development?2021-12-08T22:16:21+01:00

Being an ERG leader allows you to interact with senior executives, build connections with different stakeholders, increase your visibility in the organization, and develop many leadership skills. Here are examples of competencies that you will get to develop and/or practice as a part of your role:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Relationship management
  • Managing others
  • Project management including budget management
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Negotiations skills
  • Other business skills e.g. vendor management, external communication

These competencies are a part of requirements in most of the job descriptions for more experienced roles.

Want more knowledge?

Check our tools and resources
ABOUT

Who are we?

ERGs Center is brought to you by Diversity Hub.

ERGs Center was created by a team of passionate believers in the power of employee networks.

We are a group of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leaders, ERG leaders, and other dedicated professionals who share a vision of effective, connected, and visible ERGs.

Thank you to our funders – U.S. Consulate in Krakow and German Embassy in Warsaw – for investing in us in 2021!

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Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the center of what we do.

Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the center of what we do.

Marco Bizzarri
CEO / Gucci

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